Nuclear Lab's Waste May Have Been Culprit in Radiation Leak

U.S. officials are examining if radioactive-waste drums from Los Alamos could have caused a radiation release at a New Mexico underground storage plant.

An Energy Department statement raised the possibility that a chemical reaction in the containers may be to blame for a radioactive leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in February, the Associated Press reported late last week. Officials have yet to identify the source of the escaped particles, and the plant has remained closed.

Until investigators examine more closely the suspected Los Alamos dumped in the caverns of the plant, shipments of similar materials from the lab to a storage site in Texas are on hold, the Energy Department said.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is the designated storage site for Los Alamos waste clean-up, noted the Carlsbad Current-Argus. Shipments to the WIPP facility had been slated for completion by June 30. Officials picked a private storage facility in Texas as a backup while the WIPP radiation leak is being examined.

May 5, 2014
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U.S. officials are examining if radioactive-waste drums from Los Alamos could have caused a radiation release at a New Mexico underground storage plant.

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